The best microphone stand

From bestreviews.com
By
Adrian Wengenroth
BestReviews

If your microphone is on the heavier side, consider getting a microphone stand with a weighted base to help stabilize it.

Whether you’re a podcaster, a YouTuber, a bedroom music producer, a filmmaker or a professional musician, chances are you want a microphone stand that’s durable, easy to set up and affordable. Microphone stands are also great for office environments, especially if you have large meetings or town-hall-style assemblies.

Blue Compass Premium Microphone Boom Arm is the perfect option for broadcasters and DJs who want a simple way to mount their microphones at desk height. No matter what, there’s a microphone stand to suit your needs.  

What to know before you buy a microphone stand

Size and adjustability

Microphone stands range in size from foldable tabletop stands to adjustable, extendable tripod stands. Most microphone stands can be adjusted by hand without using tools. Check out BestReviews’ buying guide for a variety of microphone stand types and sizes.

Microphone clips and adapters

Whether you want to attach a microphone to an actor or mount it to the top of a piano for a recording session, there are many different clips and adapters available to fit your microphone stand. Some have a storage option for guitar picks and some have an attachment to use your smartphone or tablet as a recording device. 

Live sound vs. recording studio applications

Most microphone stands for live sound, such as theatre or concerts, are foldable and durable. They’re sometimes carried in a large flight case and need to be moved and adjusted quickly, so the most common type is a tripod-style with a detachable boom arm. 

Some microphone stands have a simpler design with a weighted base and are meant for recording vocals. The stand itself adjusts vertically for the singer’s height, but the microphone is mounted with a threaded clip so that the singer can stand closer to the microphone without a boom arm getting in the way.

Microphone stands for recording studios tend to come in a wider variety of heights and designs, such as short stands for miking a kick drum or guitar amp or recording a seated musician playing a smaller instrument such as violin or flute. For less conventional microphone placement, the audio engineer might use an adjustable arm or clamp to get a closer take of the instrument.

Microphone stand features

Boom arm

The boom arm attaches to the main part of the microphone stand. Both the height and angle can be adjusted to allow for the most stable and efficient microphone placement. The boom arm may be removable so the microphone stand can be converted into a straight stand.

Microphone stand base

The base of the microphone stand may fold out into a tripod, or it can be a heavier, round metal base, similar to the base of a floor lamp. 

Microphone stand materials

Microphone stands are usually made out of steel tubing (usually chrome) and are more commonly black-coated so they blend in on stage or on set and won’t catch any reflection from lights. Some higher-end microphone stands are made out of carbon fiber, a lightweight material that’s stronger than steel.

Microphone stand cost 

Microphone stands range in cost from $13-$500, with the higher price range being professional-grade live sound equipment or extremely lightweight materials such as carbon fiber.

Microphone stand FAQ

How can I attach my tablet to my microphone stand?

A. There are many types of brackets and mounts available that can hold your tablet in place with an adjustable clamp and then attach to the stand. Some microphone stands include a tablet holder.

Can I turn a full-size microphone stand into a tabletop stand?

A. Most full-size microphone stands, even when folded all the way down, are generally slightly taller than tabletop height. However, if you have a gooseneck attachment or flexible boom arm, you may be able to use that to hang the microphone over the table or desk.

Which microphone stand should I get?

Best of the best microphone stand

Blue Compass Premium Microphone Boom Arm: available at Amazon

Our take: This low-profile and simple microphone boom arm clamps to the edge of a table or desk, is adjustable by hand and is compatible with all standard microphone shock mounts.

What we like: Cables can be tucked inside for easy management. The stand can rotate 360 degrees. The maximum reach is 32 inches.

What we dislike: Some users find the cable setup to be difficult. Some users find the adjustable tension screw slips even when it’s tightened all the way, causing the microphone to slip.

Best bang for your buck microphone stand

AmazonBasics Tripod Boom Microphone Stand: available at Amazon

Our take: This simple, affordable microphone stand has clips to keep cables out of the way and an easily adjustable counterweighted boom arm. 

What we like: It’s compatible with 3/8 and 5/8-inch adapters. It’s lightweight at only 3.31 pounds. 

What we dislike: The boom arm cannot be removed. Some users find the boom arm adjustment to be unsuitable for heavier microphones.

Honorable mention microphone stand

Pyle Multimedia iPad and Microphone Stand: available at Amazon

Our take: This versatile microphone stand includes an iPad holder and an extender for the adjustable boom arm.

What we like: The iPad holder can be mounted on the boom arm and rotated to multiple angles. The rubber feet make the microphone stand very sturdy.

What we dislike: The iPad holder does not fit all iPad models. With some heavier microphones, the boom arm sags slightly.

Honorable mention microphone stand

Samson SAMD2 Microphone Stand: available at Amazon

Our take: This easily adjustable compact tabletop microphone stand is compatible with any standard microphone.

What we like: It has a weighted base. The telescoping arm goes up to 8 inches in height.

What we dislike: It only fits smaller microphones in tight places, making it somewhat limited in the studio. 

Adrian Wengenroth is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

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